DENNIS, Miss. (WTVA) -- Park Ranger Chad Pearson is among those who fish the waters of Bay Springs Lake.
He loves the scenery which includes regular sightings of bald eagles.
"We see them fairly regular. There's quite a few around. There are several nests, and we see them whenever we're out patrolling. I fish out here some, and I see them whenever I'm out fishing," Pearson said.
He is among those who hate to hear when a bald eagle is killed as one was by an elderly Iuka man.
William Branum pleaded guilty to the March 2011 shooting of a bald eagle and was sentenced to one year probation and $1,000 restitution.
"The people that love wildlife, it's just as devastating to them as it is to anybody else that tries to protect them and to keep them safe," Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks Conservation Officer Jerry Roberts said.
"There has been a lot of time and effort put into getting this bird started back in this country. The federal and state government spends a lot of money to protect the bird....When you are caught harming one of these or shooting one, you are going to be in some serious, serious trouble," Roberts added.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials say the penalties vary, but someone convicted of killing an eagle to sell it or the killing of more than one could face up to a $15,000 fine among other penalties.
Roberts says there are numerous protected animals that need to stay that way.
"The critters and birds and animals that are on the endangered list, there are not very many of them. We're trying to save these for future generations to be able to see what we've seen in our lifetime," Roberts added.